A Westminster man convicted in March of raping a 15-year-old girl last summer was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison.
Ronald E. Muller, 20, lived in Mount Airy when the girl, who is not being identified to protect her privacy, charged that Muller raped, bit and sodomized her in a remote field off Gillis Falls Road on Aug. 31.
Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. imposed a 20-year sentence before suspending 10 years. Burns also imposed a 10-year concurrent sentence for sodomy and merged other charges with the second-degree rape count. Upon his release, Muller will be on five years of supervised probation.
A Carroll County Circuit Court jury had deliberated about six hours in March before finding Muller guilty on all counts.
Before handing down his sentence, Burns said he agreed with prosecutor Jerry Joyce that the pre-sentence investigation placed "too much emphasis on the defendant's telling the truth."
Yesterday, Muller denied using force or violence, implying that the incident was consensual.
Joyce attacked the pre-sentence report, which was completed and signed by Louis W. Pearcy, an investigator for the state Division of Parole and Probation. The prosecutor pointed out errors, such as Pearcy's listing the name of Muller's lawyer, Michael Ramsey, as Rasinsky, an obvious confusion with District Court Judge Marc G. Rasinsky.
The report referred to the defendant's child as a son, but Joyce said the child was Muller's daughter. Joyce said the report was filled with editorial comments and "denigrated the veracity of the victim."
Burns, who presided at the three-day trial, said the jury had to decide who was telling the truth: the victim or the defendant. "They [jurors] obviously did not believe the defendant," Burns said.
Muller pleaded for mercy, telling Burns he was not a danger to society.
Regarding his problems with alcohol and drugs, Muller said: "I've learned a lot in jail and know I won't do it no more."
Ramsey, who had requested a sentence that would be reduced to time served -- 101 days -- said Burns' sentence was "higher than I thought it would be."
Ramsey acknowledged many errors in the pre-sentence investigative report, but said the overall report was accurate and asked Burns to follow its recommendation: from probation to five years.
Pub Date: 5/28/97